CBC Digital Archives

1969: Moon landing inspires Canadian children

On July 20, 1969, the world watched as American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin realized humanity's long-held dream of walking on the moon. Ten more men would repeat the feat in the next three years until the last moon landing in 1972. CBC Digital Archives looks back on the promise and the demise of the Apollo space program.

 American astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins have piloted the first lunar landing mission, Apollo 11, taking the lead in the superpower space race. With the mission televised, the astronauts have captured the imagination of people around the world. This CBC report features Canadian children who have been watching and considering how the expedition might change their world.

• "It was simply a night of magic. Inside the CBC Television studio, I was anchoring the network coverage of the most dramatic moment in the space age -- the first human being to walk on the moon. It was the biggest audience CBC news had ever had. Canadians, along with 600 million people around the world, were watching transfixed as Neil Armstrong set foot on a kind of thin sand on the moon." -- CBC anchor Knowlton Nash

• Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were promised that if they failed to land successfully on this mission, they would get the opportunity to try again on future missions until they were successful.
• Aldrin and Armstrong spent 21 hours on the lunar surface. They captured many photographs, planted the American flag and returned with 20.9 kilograms of lunar rocks.

• At a press conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the moon landing, Armstrong addressed a longstanding question about his famous moonwalk quotation, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." There was some debate as to whether he said simply "man" or "a man" with the "a" being cut off in transmission. He recalled that the "a" was certainly intended but couldn't remember if he actually said it.

Also on July 20:
1871: British Columbia enters Confederation as Canada's sixth province.
1998: Two of Canada's biggest entertainment companies, Alliance Communications and Atlantis Communications, merge to form Alliance-Atlantis. The same day, Southam Communications, led by Conrad Black, trades for the Financial Post newspaper from Sun Media, who gain the Hamilton Spectator and three other dailies.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: July 21, 1969
Reporter: Walt Lacosta
Duration: 1:42

Last updated: July 22, 2013

Page consulted on January 24, 2014

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